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Ruberick

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Ruberick last won the day on January 16

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  1. You can also look for Protagonist with voice Acting on VNDB, just finished Little Witch Romanesque and really liked the voice acting there. It's a bit sad, but having a voiced protagonist can be kinda seen as a mark of quality, in a going the extra mile sort of way. ChuableSoft seems to take an approach where they only have their protagonists voiced during strong character scenes and that is kind of effective in a way too, while still keeping costs low.
  2. Worst VN of The Decade?

    Picking one of the games that didn't even try would be easy, but if the game doesn't care I don't see why I should. From the games that actually did try I had the worst time with Amatarasu Riddle Star. It was confused at best and a completely arbitrary mess at worst. (Which was kind of the point as an Alice in Wonderland story, but it's hard to care about characters then, which also aren't very inspired, slapping some tropes onto loosely based on Alice in Wonderland characters. This one didn't work for me at all and I believe it's misguided as a Charage VN.) Too bad Hajimete no Okaa-san doesn't make the cut by a year, that one would have been an easy pick.
  3. It would maybe seem like a good fit, but all of the anime I listed are actually nothing like toradora and the discussion here had to some extent shifted towards romance in general, which is why I just threw some examples out there of romance anime which tackle different angles of the spectrum rather well. (In contrast to toradora which was mentioned here as well)
  4. Spice and Wolf has my favourite couple and best portrayal of romance and love not only in anime/light novel (Both are great), but in all of the media I've ever seen. Nodame Cantabile is also pretty good, Kids on the Slope is very organic and genuine and Chihayafuru has less focus on it, but really great characters. All of those would make my top 50 Anime ever. I liked toradora, but also less for the romance and more for the characters and humour. On the topic of High School VNs: I try to mix it up and read High school stuff only with a considerable gap inbetween. (At least when the school and typical school tropes make a lot of the VNs read time) There are some that I genuinely like and recommend, like Chrono Clock and Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai, but a lot of them feel lazy, tired, repetitive...
  5. What are you playing?

    All his games are pretty short content wise, but all of them have a somewhat genuine feel and approach to (strange) love. I'm finally done with Yumina the Ethereal, it took me about 60 hours and my Ctrl button shouldn't work anymore considering how much it was used. Yes, this is very grindy if you're shooting for 100% completion. (I even had to give up falling one scene short that I just couldn't find, which will haunt me) That is also my major gripe with this game, especially since it didn't feel meaningful. The whole ordacle training sessions give you a much needed edge to some genuinely hard battles in the debate war, but the lack of enemy variety (Enemies just get upscaled for the most part) quickly gets old. I liked the characters, but for a long time there weren't really many strong character moments and that's kind of (not) illustrated by how few CG's this has. Don't get me wrong, you have a lot of nice little shorts that expand on the characters, but nothing really striking happens to keep you engaged in the characters themselves. Overall it was well executed, but misguided in some of it's choices. (Like having to play through the game 6 times with all the side quests and grinding) I'd recommend a casual playthrough. 7/10 I also played Maitetsu and I liked it a lot. It has this strange quality to it, where it goes on and on about topics that may not interest the reader, but with an in-depth and pathos filled perspective, that I couldn't help getting sucked into it. It had pretty much everything that I missed in Under one Wing. It's about trains and while under one wing was extremely superficial in it's portrayal and use of planes, this comes with a built-in encyclopedia of terms that are used in-universe and in trains in general. When the characters use specific terms you can click on them and get further explanations. I haven't seen this for the first time, but this was the most in-depth and expansive version I have seen to date. This attention to detail made the VN an engaging read for me, even though there were a lot of questionable choices. I'd think that a lot of readers will get annoyed by the pace, I felt it was mostly appropriate how it took it's time to slowly expand the narrative, but at times it does so by using tired tropes of miscommunication and dense protagonist. I wouldn't care too much otherwise, but the title tried hard to be unique and succeded, if not for that. The story also dives into economical and socio-ecological problems this world faces. I'm very much a fan of that, but I imagine a lot of readers having trouble with those topics. The biggest problem I had, was the shift in moral values and to some extents common sense. Not that these shifts existed, but much rather where they came from, which is left mostly unexplained. Guess that's where the adult version gets it's content, but with how casual it is about things like mixed bathing an in-universe explanation would be appreciated. (My guess is that it implies a Japan that was less influenced by western culture, since the town where the story plays out is also very traditionalist, but who knows) The heroines are likeable, although a bit simple, they are more defined by what they do, rather than who they are, that leads to some problems and some solutions. They all have their unique roles in this community and their respective routes revolve mostly around that, but there is some suspension of disbelief on how they came to obtain that role. (That's one of the things I questioned earlier with the shift in common sense, high schoolers working full time jobs or multiple jobs with lots of responsibility placed upon them seems a bit jarring, I don't want to go into too much detail) The protagonist is calm and pragmatic, but not so detached that it would make him unlikeable, he also connects well into the story, even though his backstory isn't explored and reconnected thoroughly in all routes. (Which is kind of a good thing, since it reduces repetitiveness) All of the sprites and CGs are animated, which adds to immersion and showcases the extra work and effort that went into this, even if it's not top notch animation at all times. All in all I had a great time with this one. 8/10
  6. Shame in liking H scenes/18+ Content in Visual Novels

    1st: Kemono Musume no Sodatekata 2nd: Wabisabi 3rd and 4th: Pretty sure it's Baldr Sky, but I'm not that far into it yet.
  7. Shame in liking H scenes/18+ Content in Visual Novels

    I don't mind talking about this stuff and I am a weirdo/pervert beyond just liking H-content. For me it's mostly a mind over matter kind of thing. I can't get into "regular" porn, since actresses mean nothing to me and you don't feel any form of emotional bonding that happens, which is an absolute necessity for me. I don't want to sound like a romantic here, I may like my vanilla charage stuff where that bonding is genuine love, but I also kinda like to see where emotions in general can lead to and that makes stuff like Euphoria interesting as well. Without stories, themes, progression and portrayed feelings the reality seems to be the fiction for me and entirely unappealing.
  8. What are you playing?

    I didn't particularly like that one either. At some point I started remembering it as the VN I kept forgetting I had read before. I actually even went back into the game and reread parts of it to figure out why I couldn't remember and it wasn't too bad honestly, just nothing too memorable but at least some likeable heroines. In My fair Princess however I really felt like they didn't try at all to make it engaging and every route felt like a chore. (The best parts for me were the common route and the protagonists relationship with his family) Well, I thought so. Maybe at some point a group tries to edit them or make a proper translation, or I brush up on my japanese beyond hiragana/katakana...
  9. What are you playing?

    Maybe that was poorly worded. I meant to stress unreasonable. A nukige can have a lot of (in-universe) reasonable h-scenes, but when the protagonist shrugs of being raped like mosquito bites and an orgy bus freely drives through the town, then it's pretty hard to take one of the heroines depression and coping after losing her boyfriend to a terminal illness seriously. It just creates too big shifts in tone. Sure, go for it given the opportunity. I wouldn't give a cent for this in hindsight, but opinions are still just opinions and I'd be interested to hear thoughts on this, especially from people who have read a lot of VNs allready and will recognize the (lazy) tropes that are used in this one.
  10. What are you playing?

    With some nostalgia for old JAST titles I read xChange 1-3. I had played a lot of the JAST games way back when, but this was one series that still remained on my want to read list that I didn't get around to. All of the games are clearly outdated and the shift of how VNs are written can be seen in this series to some extent. The first one is all over the place with shifts in tone, logic and character personalities. The further the series progressed, the more these mistakes get remedied, but none of them get it quite right, since they don't stop putting unreasonable h-scenes into the games. After those, every attempt of serious storytelling just didn't reach me anymore, even though they got surprisingly real at times. Can't say I didn't expect it, it's like many other old JAST games in that respect, mostly read through them to appease my OCD. It was on my want to read list at some point, so I had to go through with it. No regrets, but I can't recommend them either. xChange 1 4/10, xChange 2 5/10, xChange 3 5/10 Besides that I read Wabisabi and it's pretty mediocre, a very basic homecoming story with the deal sweetened by some cute animal girls. There is not much depth to it, but it's not terrible either, if you're into animal girls and want a short story without too much conflict or downers to just have a sort of Iyashikei experience, it might be worth checking out. 6/10 The reason I even read those was because I finished Ikusa Megami Zero with over 80 hours "played". That's because the game played by itself most of the time and I read other stuff while it did. During auto-battles I read all of the 4 VNs above and the common route and 2 of the girl routes of My fair Princess. That kind of worked out for me, but it obviously shouldn't be the way the game is played. The JRPG aspect of the game is much too easy, I didn't even grind, it just kind of naturally occured. I'm very thorough during dungeon exploration and regularly lightly overleveled because of it. In this game that was enough to skip most of the gameplay, which is kind of a shame after setting up all those game mechanics. You could consider it my fault for playing that way, but I don't think that's the case, exploring every angle is the point of the dungeon crawler and the turn-based battles becoming redundant in the process is definitely bad tuning. Speaking of bad tuning, the end game aspect in this game is ridiculous. I did 2 of the after-game bosses with each fight taking over half an hour, even with capped 99999 damage rolls on some characters and the enemy barely doing damage to me. (I stopped partway during the second boss, because there clearly was no point to it, Kamidori Alchemy Meister had much better post-credit content) It took me about 20 hours after finishing the game to get the content I missed because of choices. I do save separately about every hour when I play these kinds of games, but the choices take effect some time later and there was a lot to replay because of that and only about half an hour of that was actually new (inconsequential) content. That ratio left me kind of underwhelmed and I can't recommend doing that to anyone. Some of those optional bits were unedited machine translations to boot. That's a lot of bad points but I still liked this game a lot. I rarely had this feeling of true epic fantasy in a VN, even though it takes dips into sexual magic a bit too much. (Gotta get that H-content in there somehow) The protagonist had a substantial role in this world, but it still felt like the world would go on existing without him and the story took a lot of unexpected turns in interesting directions. Story wise it never got boring and I also liked the dungeon crawling with some little secrets, puzzles and generally good design. A flawed but very worthwhile experience. 8/10 I could sum up My fair Princess in one word. Boring. Or in another word. Lazy. The girl routes are textbook examples with nothing memorable in them. The girls are either bland, stupid or both and the protagonist has the most boring attitude and reactions I can remember witnessing in a VN. Sometimes VNs have unlikeable protagonists or girls, but in this one I was indifferent towards all of them, which was even worse. It's a bit sad, because the theme wasn't that bad in theory. The protagonist is poor but with a loving family and the girls are rich with dysfunctional families, a good contrast, surely nothing completely new, but a VN that completely focuses on that and explores it from different angles could have been interesting. The explored stories however feel samey, the bland heroines don't help at all and the protagonist just lets the story impartially pass him by, the story resolves in some dumb way and the credits roll. I don't think this is worth anyone's time. 4/10 By the way, anyone having thoughts if the machine translations of the Eushully games in the Ikusa Megami series are worth it?
  11. So Mirror is on Sale

    It has no VNDB entry because it's not actually a VN. It's more like one of those "puzzle" for a hentai pic games, with short intermissions between gameplay.
  12. To be honest, I don't think I'd watch either with my mom, but shoutouts to all young, liberal moms out there. I picked GoT as an example, because if you stop and think about it, it depicts rape, prostitution (implies child prostitution), incest, monster sex and sexual slavery, not the topics of a polite dinner conversation where I come from, (Topics VNs happen to frequently pick up, mostly with a 180 on the morals of it ) but all of them are used for world building, character building and shock value and that makes it okay, even mainstream. If a VN makes use of its H-scenes to the same effect it usually makes it a better VN, just because the story progresses more naturally. However, the 2D stigma is strong and even if a VN were to use its H-scenes like that, it would still be considered porn by most, which makes it double standards. Being realistic, a lot of VNs certainly deserve to be called porn, but imagining a hypothetical large scale fantasy medieval plot heavy VN using, among others, ("tasteful") sex, to flesh out its world is kind of fun for me, even though it's a waste, since it will likely never exist. Edit: Fun fact, I just finished playing Ikusa Megami Zero, which almost pulls it off. If they had just toned down the sex magic a little bit more, it could have been.
  13. Tragic backstories that made you cry

    It's extremely hard to make me emotional, but I'd still like to make my case here. I usually don't tear up, I rather get pangs of satisfaction along the lines of "Thank you for blessing me with this powerful/well written scene". Rather than tearjerky they are generally more like memorable scenes for me. Those include: Saya no Uta (A very recent read, so it might just still be relevant for me) Shining Song Starnova Family Project The only VN that actually made me tear up was Harukoi Otome, but I think that was more related to my state of mind at the time I read it and it's basically my proof for not being a robot. For some reason backstories in general have a harder time to impact me, the disconnect of time and seeing the results they had beforehand often takes the edge off for me.
  14. Aokana Release by Nekonyan [UPDATED]

    I'd say not liking characters is a valid reason not to get romantically involved with them. Not sure if you're joking about the special ending. For what it's worth Rika was surprisingly second best girl after Misaki for me. Her route doesn't have many scenes to blow you out of the water, but it feels really genuine. For me it felt like Misaki was the center of the VN, she had the backstory, she had all the impactful moments, she even had a fangirl to make things even more about her, so the competition was kinda rigged from the beginning.
  15. I'm not very attracted by physical appearance, or even interested in physical contact, for me it's mostly about reaching a certain state of mind. I guess that's part of the reason why I easily connected with 2D, or even 0D since I still read lots of books. (At some point I read the VN Killer Queen and, you can call me incompentent, I couldnt set it up for my life and only had a black screen and text with a poorly optimized font for the whole VN and still read and enjoyed it) That's why High-School heroines are as appealing as most other heroines for me, high school settings less so... Especially when it's about a club and a lot of time is actually spent in school. High school as a subsetting for expanding the story is still okay. I just try to mix the VNs I read so I don't get too aware of repeating school tropes and usually read at least 3 at the same time so none of the topics/settings get stale.
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